Masculinity Movies LIVE #5 has come and gone. It was a great evening with several new faces. Unfortunately, the event crashed with two other events which drew participants who would normally attend MM LIVE. Still, we were a nice, dynamic group of seven and had a thoroughly good time.
"I love you, man" is a movie which has not yet been reviewed on the site. It's a comedy about Peter Klaven, a man who is to marry his beloved, but who has no close male friends to stand as his best man. He has spent most his life focusing on his relationships and all male friendships have been neglected. Peter is a thoroughly nice, soft and gentle guy - a man very much out of touch with the Red inside himself (the primal masculine force).
Then Sydney enters his life and all of a sudden he has a friend – and a friend who is much more in tune with his animal masculinity than Peter himself. The movie is about their friendship, their differences and qualities that they inspire in each other and is an enjoyable ride full of poignant insights into the modern male.
After the movie, we explored some questions in dyads (groups of two men). They were "Do you spend more time with men or women? Why?". We also explored "What do you most long for in friendships with men – being challenged or accepted as you are?" as well as "does homophobia ever limit the depth of your male friendships?".
All but one man longed first and foremost for being accepted for who they were. But this is not a binary equation of course so we completed the evening with an exercise in which we combined these two qualities - challenge and acceptance. The man stood facing each other and were told to fully accept the other and to challenge him when his consciousness was slipping, by being physical with him if necessary.
This exercise completely opened the room and the men started connecting at a deeper level. Men being physical with each other always leads to more juice and consciousness. This exercise is also a nice exploration of the dynamic relationship between the Lover and the Warrior archetype, which is also central in the movie. I spoke about the importance of having a strong internal Warrior to guard the vulnerable Lover within (and could have added that we need a Lover to keep the Warrior from sadism). I suggested that unless we are able to fully accept someone, we are not able to fully challenge him – and vice versa.
I have explored these archetypes and their inter-being on the dance floor doing five rhythms lately and have learned a lot from that. For me, that was a big takeaway – introducing the same energy into the group and feeling the valves open.
All in all, it was a great night, one which made me realize that I want to tie these evenings more closely to the KWML archetype model.